These days everyone and her sister has a cologne or perfume. The list includes a virtual who’s who of minor celebrities. So it’s easy to forget a time when this was not a common occurrence. The legendary actress, businesswoman and humanitarian, Elizabeth Taylor, pioneered this trend by being the first. She was the first celebrity to pioneer her own brand of perfume – along with Eve Arden – with Passion in 1987, the men’s version of Passion in 1989 and White Diamonds in 1991. And although Taylor had been a talented actress since the early forties and had starred in films such as ‘National Velvet,’ ‘A Place in the Sun’, ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?’ (co-starring then husband Richard Burton) and ‘Cleopatra’ she did not suffer fools gladly. According to most sources, it was her venture into developing and endorsing colognes that gained her new fortune and introduced her to a new generation.
White Diamonds instantly began and continues to be a best seller. The success of White Diamonds would go on to inspire other gem-inspired fragrances from the screen legend such as Diamonds and Emeralds, Diamonds and Rubies, Diamonds and Sapphires all of which came out in 1993. Finally, Violet Eyes – the last fragrance to come out before her death in 2011 of congestive heart failure – was based on the distinct and captivating color of her eyes. Fragrances released after her death include White Diamonds Lustre (for women) 2014 and White Diamonds Night (2016) bringing the total number of fragrances to 15. Today, her fragrances are staples with all perfume retailers. In fact, no retailer’s inventory would be complete unless it contained a least some of her perfumes. In 2005, Taylor also founded a jewelry company, House of Taylor, in collaboration with Kathy Ireland and Jack and Monty Abramov.
In a time when every sports, rap, music or reality star of any distinction has a fragrance, it is important to remember that these were not firsts. These were and are not true trail blazers and the memory of most of these “celebrities” will likely fade with time. A women who had a long distinguished career and actually excelled to the top of her profession, pioneered the area of celebrities developing and lending their name to fragrances. Her legacy through her films, philanthropic work continues to this day. (She was heavily involved in AIDs activism and fund raising.) No perfume collection is complete without products from this iconic film legend and you can find all lines of Taylor’s fragrances at Lily Direct.